Friday, April 11, 2008

How to Boost Attendance on a Tight Budget

Charles Arn's advice:

Growth in worship attendance falls into one of two categories:

  1. Increasing attendance among those who already attend.

  2. Increasing the number of people who attend for the first time.

For those already attending:
  1. Renew membership vows. Every four years, ask members to recommit, in a public ceremony, to the vows they made when joining the church.

  2. Set personal attendance goals. Members often are asked to make faithpledges with their money. Why not with their attendance? Experience has shown attendance jumps by at least 10 percent.

  3. Preach to answer people's questions. Take a survey and ask three questions: "What do you wonder about most?" "What do you worry about most?" "What do you wish for most?" Then give them God's answers.

  4. Tell people they were missed. When regular attenders miss a Sunday, drop them a card or e-mail and let them know they're an important part of the church—and are missed when they're gone.

For new attenders:
  1. Add a new service. According to Lyle Schaller, half of all churches in the U.S. should add a new service—and most will experience growth as a result.

  2. Hold more special-event Sundays. We all know what happens at a special event—more people come. So, plan 15 to 20 per year!

  3. Improve your website. More than 60 percent of people visit a church's website before they visit their physical site. Put a "Visitors & Guests" link prominently on the home page.

  4. Increase your community visibility. Conduct 3 to 4 "Entry Events" each year— high-visibility events of interest to unchurched people in your community. Get names and addresses and then invite them to relevant "Entry Paths," where they can make friends and build relationships.